500R vs 500F - Honda CBR500R Forum : CB500F and CB500X Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question 500R vs 500F

So, as I mentioned before, I ride an R3 but have been enjoying your Forum to collect info and ideas. My idea of 2 bikes in the garage is probably not reasonable, (think of wife reminding me of 1 arse to sit on but 2 bikes to maintain). So, I'm bidding my time for a decent deal. The F appears an identical bike as the R, with the exception of the body panels and clip-on handle bars of the R. It's been a long time since I've ridden an un-faired bike and I regularly ride during winters down into the low thirties, so wind protection is important to me. But the difference in the price of these 2 bikes makes me want to consider the F. Especially since my local dealer has one 2018 F and 2018 R left in his inventory. And, as your Forum posts have pointed out, there are some awesome aftermarket windscreens available at good prices. I don't believe I'd be disappointed in either bike. Please, Help me see the light if I'm overlooking or overthinking this. Thanks in advance for your opinions.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 09:38 PM
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Getting a windscreen that works for you and looks good on the bike (CB500F) can be a problem.... usually trial and error.
I settled for a windscreen rather than a windshield, which was a compromise.... looks good but doesn't provide a lot of wind protection in Winter.
That took about 3 tries.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 11:40 PM
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The F is also a bit easier to work on becasue there are fewer panels to remove.
But there are still some plastic panels that get in the way and it is best to remove them to open up the bike for repair.

Both 500's permit the installation of a center stand which aids the maintenance for chain oiling, tires & brakes.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 05:01 PM
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As a long-time CB500FA owner, I just don't see why anyone would want to ruin the look of this beautiful naked roadster by sticking a windshield on it. It's just not necessary. Yesterday I was zipping along at 170 km/h and remained quite comfy... even at that speed I never felt that the wind, nor the cool temps, (was 10C at the time) were an issue at all. To each his/her own, but I have never seen a great-looking 500F sporting a windshield. Call me crazy, but I'll go out on a limb here, and state that I don't believe that there is any more wind issues while riding a 500F over a 500R.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 06:02 PM
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I don't think that the R's fairing is wide enough to really block much wind. If it's cold out you'll be cold no matter what unless you're wearing warm gear. Solve that problem with proper riding gear instead. Or search for a touring bike that is designed for that purpose (personally, I think I would be happier with a touring bike now given my geographic location, but that's because most of the roads that I can ride on are boring, and a lot of the local riding is on the highway where this bike's limitations wear on you faster).

Personally, I also think that the F looks better. At least, for the 2013-2015 models. The 2016+ improved the R's appearance quite a bit, but the F is still sexy so kept up at least. In terms of maintenance, I don't know how much more convenient the F is, but I know it's a real PITA to remove the R's fairings to access various things, and these days I'd appreciate easier access much more over the relatively modest looks of the 2013 R's fairing, and the little bit of protection it offers on the road.

If you're deciding between R and F I suggest going with the F. When people see the full fairing they typically think you're on a 600 crotch rocket, and it's a little demoralizing having to explain that it's not. I don't know if the F suffers from that too (it looks fast as **** anyway), but I imagine it's not as bad because people are less familiar with the naked sport look and probably make fewer assumptions. The windscreen is basically the same on both models. You get a ton of turbulence at highway speeds with the stock setup. You get used to it, but it is exhausting.

Also, in my opinion, the clip-ons on the R don't really work right with the riding position. From day one I found I was caught somewhere between comfort and sport. It's an awkward position to be in. I don't know if the F is better for that, but I assume it is. The R is really exhausting to ride, at least for me.

If I had the money I'd replace her with a Gold Wing tomorrow! So that's where I'm coming from. The R is still a lovely little bike, but I think you can get a lot more bike for a little bit more money, and it depends on your riding history whether the R will suffice. I can't remember what you want to change about the R3, but I don't think the solution truly lies in a 500. If you do a lot of highway riding then I think you'll be happier with a touring style bike. Or maybe a cruiser. I'm not sure that the 500 does anything better than the R3 other than being slightly heavier which may give you more confidence, but will probably cost agility and braking distance in return. I'm not sure if the R3 is thick between the thighs (Ninja 250's look like they are wider than the 500), but after riding a larger bike like the 650 the 500 feels like a toy, and I'm not fond of that feeling at this point in my riding career.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 12:57 PM
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I like the F because of less stuff on it, however, both have issues (as all bikes do) with windage. I had one of the smaller screens (Puig) and it did almost nothing. I went to a different brand (I forget the brand, but purchased from Revzilla) and I like it a LOT better for windage, however, I had to add lower brackets because its original mounting only did connections to h-bars. Bottom was too loose and I was afraid it would blow up with the wind.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 03:12 PM
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I love my F and I find it only really is a pain on the hwy when there is a decent head wind.

Personally I really like this windshield for the bike. Itís smaller and still has the same look as the F. I donít know Iím still undecided

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 12:26 PM
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I too also prefer the naked look of the F. I recently fitted Piedís old Puig screen to mine and found that it did move the air off my chest at speeds up to about 60. After that it was worthless but looked **** good on the bike. His was for a Ď16 model but was easily installed on my Ď13 using 1/2Ē nylon spacers and longer bolts. I thought this one looked much better than the Puig designated for the 13-15 in pics and was right once I saw it installed. Unfortunately I donít have any pics and have removed it for sale along with all my other parts as Iím moving on to something different.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 05:24 PM
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A very dear friend who lives over 1000 miles from me (so I didn't have a chance to personally test his suggestion), tried several less expensive windshields on his '17 CB-500F (same as mine) and finally "bit the bullet" ($$$) and bought a Madstadt windshield. This cost about $250USD, but in his words, he "got what he paid for" and it outclassed all the lesser windshields in every sense. He said to me, "You can try the cheaper ones and all you'll do is waste money. Buy the Madstadt and you'll get your money's worth the first time". He is a long term rider, has had many bikes and I regard his advice as solid.

For the meanwhile, as Central Texas endures a full month of daily high temperatures of 100F or more, I'm not thinking of a windshield! As one poster above said, when Winter comes he'll just dress more warmly. I sense very little buffeting when riding my F model at speeds above 60 mph.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 11:53 PM
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Mine had a windshield when I bought it.
It seems small enough to not really ruin the naked bike look.

I prefer the F styling over the R.
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